Published on by smooks 2 Comments
After a brief one-day hiatus, fans of competitive FIFA will be buzzing for a second time this week as 64 new challengers -- now on PlayStation -- vie for the console's crown. German Xbox One player Michael 'Vfl Megabit' Bittner ousted Olympique Lyonnais French contender Fouad 'Rafsou' Fares, 7-5, Wednesday to win the opposite division.
While Xbox players have sort of established an unofficial dominance over their PS4 counterparts over the past year and a half (mainly by virtue of winning the majority of major competitions' finals), that does not mean the PlayStation side is to be taken lightly. The field is stacked with compeitors who have shone bright in past competitions. Manchester FUT Champions Cup runner-up Philipp 'Eisvogel' Schermer returns after yet another grand final loss in the FIFA eClub World Cup, but this time he will look to take home the prize after coming so close twice already.
FIFA Interactive World Cup runner-up and Manchester City player Kai 'Deto' Wollin continues his strong year after resurfacing in last year's final, and Barcelona FUT Champions Cup runner-up Nicolas 'nicolas99fc' Villalba returns as well. Former Madrid regional final winner Daniele 'Prinsipe' Paolucci -- coincidentally the only PS4 winner from six total regional finals -- will feature too.
The top 16 players from the PlayStation division will join the 16 Xbox competitors in the FIFA eWorld Cup held in London in August, so for most players, the goal is to make it past the group stages and win their first knockout round match. The rules are the same as they've been all year.
Every match between two players, including the Knockout Stage matches and the Grand Final, will be played over two legs. The player with the higher aggregate score will be declared the winner, but, if the scoreline remains tied after two games, extra-time and penalties will decide the winner.
During the group stage, the players will be seeded based on their qualifying results. What this means is that the No. 1 seed will play the No. 64 seed, and so on. After the first match based on the seedings, players will then be matched up against others with the same win-loss record. No player will face the same opponent twice before the Knockouts. The competitors will have the chance to play up to seven matches in the Group Stage, or 14 games in total. Four wins from seven matches will ensure entry into the Knockout rounds, but if a player loses four matches, they will immediately be eliminated from the competition.
The Knockout Stage is relatively simple. The 32 remaining players will be seeded into a single-elimination bracket based on their win-loss record from the Group Stage. At the end, only two players will remain, and they will go on to play each other for events' highest cash prize. Unlike previous tournaments, there won't be a cross-console match as all the competitors hail from the PS4 side of things.
The tournament will kick-off Friday at 7:40 a.m. ET (12:40 p.m. UK time) with the first five rounds of the group stage. The broadcast crew will be back for 'Qualification Saturday' at 6 a.m. ET for the last two rounds of the group stages and the first knockout round, while the rest is scheduled to finish out Sunday starting at 6 a.m. ET as well. For a more fleshed-out look at the entire weekend's schedule, you can go here. Extended coverage and behind-the-scenes action can be found on Twitch.